Library:Copyright Resources/Why Should I Care/Myth5 If it is licensed through Creative Commons I can use it however I want

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Myth : I'm working on my department website using UBC's CMS on Wordpress and I would like to find some photos to use. I found relevant photos on Flickr using the Creative Commons search. As long as they are Creative Commons images, I can just use them however I want, right?

Magnifying-Glass.png Reality:

Some copyright holders use a Creative Commons license to allow their copyright work to be reused and shared. However, a Creative Commons license does not mean that a work is not copyrighted and that it can be used however you want. There are many different Creative Commons licenses, and each allows the work to be shared and reused in different ways, with different requirements and conditions that must be followed.

All Creative Commons licenses require attribution for the image creator. Refer to UBC's Image Citation Guide for more information about citing Creative Commons images.

Additional conditions of a Creative Commons license may:

  • prohibit commercial use of the work;
  • prohibit modifications of the original work;
  • and, if modifications are allowed, require modified works to be released under the same license.

When a work has a Creative Commons license, the license usually has a link to a license page - such as with the second example in the Image Citation Guide. The license page lists the specific conditions for that work and will help others use it in the way the creator intended. Be sure to read the license conditions of any Creative Commons work that you use.

Applying a Creative Commons license to your work is a great way to allow sharing and reuse of your work as well.

Find an image licensed for re-use: CC Search, UBC's Image Sources Guide.